Medvedev: A Bad Cop Setting Losers Straight in the Kleptocratic Police State

Dmitry Medvedev at Terra Scientia youth forum. Photo courtesy of Zebra TV
“Bad cop” Dmitry Medvedev at Terra Scientia youth forum. Photo courtesy of Zebra TV

Medvedev: It Is Wrong to Compare Low Salaries of Schoolteachers and High Salaries of the Security Services 
This was the premier’s reply to complaint from resident of Dagestan at Terra Scientia
Alexei Obukhov
Moskovsky Komsomolets
August 3, 2016

Russian Federation Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev made a bold statement at the youth forum Terra Scientia on the Klyazma River. Replying to the question of why a teacher’s salary in Dagestan is four or five times lower than that of a security services officer, the politician said it was wrong to compare the two professions.

As reported by Zebra TV, a young man from the Caucasian republic posed the question to the premier. According to the young man, a teacher in Dagestan might earn 10,000 to 15,000 rubles a month [approx. 130 to 200 euros a month], while an employee of a law enforcement agency could earn 50,000 rubles a month [approx. 675 euros a month].

In response, Medvedev noted the two professions were not comparable. As an example, he cited his own experience. When he finished university, his monthly salary [during Soviet times] was 90 rubles a month, as opposed to 250 rubles a month for policemen.

However, noted Medvedev, his priority was graduate school, not a career in the Interior Ministry or the prosecutor’s office, although he had received an offer.

Ultimately, Medvedev concluded, an “energetic” teacher will always find an opportunity to supplement his salary. The premier advised young people to follow their vocations. Such was his reply to another question, about whether it was worth going into social work given the extremely low wages in the field.

Earlier at Terra Scientia, a female participant had complained about her inability to get a mortgage although she had two university degrees and worked in an orphanage. The discussion’s moderator chided the young woman for asking such a question while holding an iPhone. The woman claimed the smartphone had been a gift. However, she never did get an answer to her question.

Translated by the Russian Reader. PM Medvedev’s “outrageous” behavior in this case is wholly consistent with Nikolai Mironov’s analysis, two months ago in the same newspaper, of Putin’s need for a “bad” prime minister, a fall guy and scapegoat for all purposes and seasons.

News of Soviet Karelia

Lake Onega embankment in Petrozavodsk, capital of Soviet Karelia. Courtesy of varlamov.ru
Lake Onega embankment in Petrozavodsk, capital of Soviet Karelia. Courtesy of varlamov.ru

Media: Head of Karelia Orders Education Minister to “Tackle” Teachers’ Illegal Earnings
Zaks.ru
June 29, 2016

Head of Karelia Alexander Hudilainen ordered the republic’s education minister to “tackle” the money teachers earn on the side working as tutors. He gave the order at a meeting of the anti-corruption committee, reports Rosbalt News Agency, quoting Andrei Rogalevich, chair of the committee on education, culture, sport, and youth policy in the region’s legislative assembly.

According to the MP, Hudilainen called the minister’s attention to a website advertising the services of tutors in different subjects. He had counted 180 tutors from Karelia on the website and suggested these educators had been concealing their extra income and not paying taxes on it.

Rogalevich said that Hudilainen’s approach, which defined educators as corrupt, was wrongheaded.

“Rather than [blaming] officials, whose work causes much more damage to the budget and the republic’s population, [Hudilainen blamed] people whose salary is many times smaller than the ‘people’s champions,'” the MP noted.

Rogalevich also recalled that Hudilainen had previously indulged in ambiguous remarks about teachers. For example, Hudilainen had proposed drawing up a “list of shame” of educators whose pupils had been left behind to repeat a grade. He argued that repeaters were the fault of teachers who had not given extra lessons to slow learners.

Translated by the Russian Reader

NB. The September 18, 2015, edition of MK Karelia reported that the average salary for high school teachers in Karelia in 2014 was 28,975 rubles per month. On December 31, 2014, the ruble traded at nearly 71 rubles to the euro, meaning the average Karelian teacher was then making around 400 euros a month.